Endive and Snap Peas with Lime-Miso Dressing

Sugar Snap Peas may even beat asparagus as my favorite spring vegetable. We’ve been known to pick up kilogram (2+ lbs) bags of them from our local Saturday morning market and have them finished before Thursday, munching on them raw as a snack. Their all-too-brief season should be enjoyed to the fullest!Belgian Endive, on the other hand, is one of the poor, neglected vegetables that I notice routinely ends up in the discount, “eat today because tomorrow it’s in the garbage” bin at the supermarket. I think that’s likely due to people not knowing what to do with it, or with it having a reputation of being bitter. The entire Endive family of greens tends to have a more pronounced bitter flavor than others: Belgian Endive, Escarole, Radicchio, Radicchio di Triviso, Frisee. The fresher they are the less bitterness you tend to find. Also, the inner leaves and core are normally the most bitter part, so trim that away if you’d prefer. It can also help to soak the leaves in ice water for 20 to 30 minutes before serving. If you haven’t tried them before, I like to compare their bitterness to the hoppiness of a beer.  If you enjoy hop-forward beers, then these greens should be well within your flavor comfort zone. When making a salad with any bitter green, I try to pair it with contrasting flavor, something to take the edge off the greens. Here, the Sugar snap peas add their sweetness, and the creaminess of the miso dressing rounds off some of the sharp edges.

The snap peas are only cooked for a moment, leaving their color bright and vibrant, and their crunch still mostly intact. Salt your cooking water really well as it helps season the peas as well as aid in the preservation of that beautiful color. 1 ½ tablespoons of coarse kosher salt per liter/quart should be enough.


Endive and Snap Peas with Lime-Miso Dressing
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Bitter endive and sweet, crisp sugar snap peas come together in light spring salad with the help of a tangy lime-miso dressing.
Author:
Serves: 2 Salads
Ingredients
  • 200g/7oz Sugar Snap Peas, string removed
  • 1 large or 2 medium heads Belgian Endive, root end trimmed to loosen the first leaves, then trimmed again to release more leaves. Keep going until all of the leaves are separated. I like the leaves left whole, but they can also be sliced up in to smaller pieces. Your call.
  • 1 green onion, white and most of the green, root trimmed and thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • 3 tbsp of fresh herbs, torn or coarsely chopped. Try a mixture of dill, basil and parsley
  • Dressing
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp blond or white miso
  • 5 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Instructions
  1. Make the dressing by whisking together the vinegar, lime juice, mustard and miso until smooth
  2. Very slowly, drizzle in the oil while whisking constantly. This will emulsify the dressing, making it smooth and creamy
  3. It shouldn’t need any additional salt. Set it aside while you finish off the dish.
  4. Bring a pot of water to a boil and season it aggressively with salt, at least 1 ½ tablespoons of kosher salt (half that amount if using fine grind salt).
  5. Drop in the Sugar Snap Peas and cook for around 2 minutes. Give one a taste. You are looking for bright green color and for the snap peas to have tenderized just a bit, but still maintaining some crunch.
  6. When done, drain them and cool completely in a bowl of ice water (or really cold tap water). You want to halt the cooking process as quickly as possible to preserve the bright green color and to keep them from over cooking.
  7. As soon as they are completely cooled, drain them again. Place them on a lint-free towel, or paper towel to catch any extra water that would otherwise dilute the dressing.
  8. Slice the snap peas on a diagonal in half, or even in to a julienne
  9. Prepare the endive by trimming off the root end, enough to allow the first couple of leaves to come off. Keep trimming and removing leaves until you’ve separated all of the leaves. Leave them whole or slice them in to smaller pieces. I tend to like them as whole leaves.
  10. Arrange the Endive leaves on a serving tray or on individual plates. Top them with the sliced snap peas and the green onions slices.
  11. Give the dressing a quick whisking to make keep it emulsified then drizzle it over the salad(s).
  12. Sprinkle the herbs over top
 

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